CELTIC are poised to offer a new deal to Emilio Izaguirre who will be out of contract in June.
The hugely popular Honduran has impressed Brendan Rodgers after taking over from Kieran Tierney following the teenager’s training-ground ankle injury which will keep him sidelined until the end of the year.
Izaguirre, who was signed by Neil Lennon from Motagua in his homeland six years ago, is free to talk to interested clubs after the turn of the year.
Asked if he would like the 30-year-old defender to remain to give the Hoops two international left-backs competing for the role, Rodgers replied: “That’s the idea, to have the competition.
“We have one with experience and one with youthfulness. So, it is a perfect balance.”
Tierney’s consistently excellent form meant Izaguirre had made only two appearances this season prior to the 19-year-old Scotland star’s setback.
Rodgers added: “Emilio has been very good since coming back into the team. It is a testament to how hard he has been working. A lot of the guys who have been playing regularly have got a lot of credit – and quite rightly so.
“But they have only been so good because there are a lot of guys in behind them who have been pushing them every day.
“I was really pleased with the defensive part of his game. I think he is renowned more for going forward, but he has defended strongly. It is great for him.”
Kolo Toure is still sidelined and will sit out this afternoon’s Premiership clash against Inverness Caley Thistle at Parkhead, but Jozo Simunovic and Leigh Griffiths, who missed the 1-1 draw with Borussia Monchengladbach on Tuesday, are restored to the squad.
One thing that has been missed by commentators the fact that Brendan Rodgers experimented with his defensive back four in Monchengladbach a week earlier up in Dingwall. It looked like he had a plan for Germany and tried it out in the Highlands.
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